Rain Carbon Inc, a leading global producer of carbon-based products, has initiated the phased start-up of its hydrogenated hydrocarbon resins production facility in Castrop-Rauxel, Germany.
Once operational in Q4, 2019, the state-of-the-art plant will have a permitted resins production capacity of up to 50,000t/yr and will serve as the cornerstone of Rain Carbon’s Advanced Materials product segment.
“Throughout the history of our company, innovation and ingenuity have enabled us to produce carbon-based raw materials that make countless products that people rely on every day possible,” said Rain Carbon President, Gerry Sweeney during the commissioning ceremony.
“Today, we are continuing a traditional that began here in 1898, when the former RÜTGERS plant was producing raw materials for preserving railroad ties and later when it supported the growing BAKELITE industry.
"Our €60M investment in this facility will enable Rain Carbon to produce advanced raw materials required to meet changing regulatory requirements and growing consumer demand for cleaner, faster and lighter products.
“Building on the spirit of innovation that has been part of the DNA here for the past 120 years, one of the products that will be manufactured in Castrop-Rauxel is our new NOVARES® pure resins,” Sweeney added.
“These ‘water-white’ resins will match the purity of any competing products available, and they will provide customers with a cleaner alternative for such applications as food packaging and hygiene products.
"Innovation can also be seen in our proprietary technology for resins production and in the environmentally friendly hydrogen plant constructed by Messer Group.
“These developments are important – and not just for Rain Carbon,” Sweeney continued.
“They are significant for the entire region, creating 21st-century jobs, including 30 new positions at Rain Carbon and another 45 contractor and regional jobs.
"In addition, this facility is bringing new products and technologies to the Ruhr Valley. Just as important is this plant’s potential to attract new customers to the region, since its strategic location in western Germany offers European customers a shorter and more cost-effective supply chain for water-white resins and other advanced materials previously imported from Asia.”
Professor Dr Andreas Pinkwart, Minister for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitization and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia, said: ""The hydrogenated hydrocarbon resins facility shows the innovative strength of the chemical industry in North Rhine-Westphalia.
"At the same time, it stands for an efficient approval procedure that took less than a year.
"This shows that our policy of removing administrative barriers – our so-called ‘unleashing‘ – works and improves the conditions for the local industry.
"What succeeds in the chemistry sector also has positive effects on many other parts of the economy."
Regarding Messer Group’s role to the project – its first hydrogen plant constructed and installed in Germany – CEO Stefan Messer said: “Germany must continue to extend its leadership in research and development, and remain focused on the climate policy goals of the Paris climate accords.
"The strategic and ecological production and application of hydrogen brings both topics together.”